In celebration of its 50th anniversary in 2009, NBS convened an international assembly. Its goals were to strengthen the bonds linking the international professional ballet education community and draw students together through artistic collaboration. Artistic directors from 13 professional ballet schools in Australia, Canada, Cuba, Denmark, England, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States accepted NBS’ invitation to come to Toronto with representatives of their faculty and their most promising senior students. Assemblée Internationale 2009 (AI 09) was an exhilarating week-long event that fostered student collaboration and creativity through blended ballet classes, shared rehearsals, joint performances and the creation of new choreography.
AI 09 was so successful that the idea was repeated in 2013. Expanded in size and scope, Assemblée Internationale 2013 (AI 13) attracted participants from 18 of the world’s most prestigious professional ballet schools. The same spirit of shared creativity established during AI 09 reigned at AI 13, highlighted by the creation and performance of Stream, a new work by choreographers Shaun Amyot and Michael Schumacher. Not only was Stream performed by a blended cast of international students in Toronto for AI 13, but also by students in Amsterdam who participated in real time through live streaming. However, the students were not merely performing at the same time. The choreography incorporated numerous moments for the dancers to respond to one another through improvisation. Engaging in a danced conversation across space and time, these students brought new meaning to the concept of a global stage.